Tech companies on Friday night made significant moves against conservative presences on their respective servers, with Twitter purging major high-profile conservative accounts including President Donald Trump, who received a permanent ban..
Apple, meanwhile, threatened to blacklist Parler in its app store over the company’s content moderation policies, while Google outright banned the app from its own software-sharing system.
Twitter on Friday officially banned Trump from its platform, citing his two recent tweets stating his intent to skip Joe Biden’s inauguration and offering praise to his his millions of supporters, which the company said constituted violations of its “glorification of violence” policy.
“[O]ur determination,” the company wrote, “is that the two Tweets … are likely to inspire others to replicate the violent acts that took place on January 6, 2021, and that there are multiple indicators that they are being received and understood as encouragement to do so.”
Twitter on Friday also banned the accounts of Trump attorney Sidney Powell and former Trump National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, arguing that the two had spread false information related to the QAnon conspiracy theory and had thus violated the company’s content rules.
The alternative social media app Parler, meanwhile — which has billed itself as a free-speech alternative to Twitter’s content moderation policies and which has attracted a growing number of conservative users in recent months — faced major pressure from tech giants Apple and Google to rewrite its content rules.
Apple informed Parler that it would ban it from its App Store software sharing system if Parler did not reform its moderation policies to more stringently police reportedly violent speech.
Google, meanwhile, booted Parler from its own app store, citing the app’s failure to engage in “robust moderation for egregious content.”
“In light of this ongoing and urgent public safety threat, we are suspending the app’s listings from the Play Store until it addresses these issues,” Google said.
People on the RIGHT are scrambling to protect their friend/engagement lists and migrating to more reliable platforms. I suspect that Parler may be taken down and a reversion to websites, blogs, email lists and good old fashion USPS mail will be the short term result.
Anti-trust action against Google and Apple will quickly occur as will lawsuits from red state attorney generals.
As for President Trump, he will (after January 20) either purchase a television enterprise (my bet is Newsmax) or develop his own. He may develop a social media platform or use more traditional media to attack Section 230 and bring the whole business down a bit.
The latest antics in the increasingly complex soap opera over the fate of Section 230. Last month, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter’s Jack Dorsey appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee to discuss potential legislation that would limit protections for social media companies under Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act, which provides a shield to online publishers from liability for content generated by users. Several proposals have already been introduced.
Republicans railed against the companies and their CEOs, who appeared virtually, because of their perceptions the Silicon Valley powerhouses are biased against conservative views and work to censor conservatives, like President Donald Trump, while giving liberal politicians a pass.
“We have to find a way when Twitter and Facebook make a decision about what’s reliable and what’s not, what to keep up and what to keep down, that there is transparency in the system,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican who chairs the Judiciary Committee. “Section 230 has to be changed because we can’t get there from here without change.”